Russ Feingold criticizes Obama’s embracing of super-PAC

February 7, 2012 | By | 5 Replies More

From Huffpo:

Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) ripped into both President Barack Obama and his re-election team on Tuesday morning for backing off its previous criticism of outside spending on campaigns and embracing the role that super PACs will play in the 2012 election.

“It is a dumb approach,” Feingold said in a phone interview with The Huffington Post. “It will lead to scandal and there are going to be a lot of people having corrupt conversations about huge amounts of money that will one day regret that they went down the route of what is effectively a legalized Abramoff system.”


Category: Campaign Finance Reform, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. Adam Herman says:

    I don’t understand this principled opposition to outside spending. Why is outside spending inherently worse than inside spending? Should candidates and political parties be the only ones allowed to speak during an election campaign?

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Adam: I’m against all private funding of national campaigns, except for seed money to qualify for public funding. Campaign messages should be given public forums, perhaps a few national debates, and publicly provided airtime. No more one-minute (or less) TV spots. Norway has banned them because they are counter-productive.

      Candidates should not be given any edge just because they have piles of money that enable them to pump their venom all over the country like tawdry graffiti. We need to figure out a way to have real discussions about important issues. We don’t currently have that system.

  2. Adam Herman says:

    The problem with that is that then only the candidates get to decide what the campaign will be about, plus the institutional media. Citizens have the right to bring up subjects or criticisms of candidates that are not being addressed. The 1st amendment guarantees a free market of ideas. A public system means that only certain people are permitted to broadcast their ideas.

    But it’s interesting to see the mask come off. From the time of the Citizens United decision until last month, reformers had tried to make it about the evils of corporate electioneering. But now we know that they don’t believe individuals have 1st amendment rights either. Campaigns must be controlled rigidly to prevent the public from hearing anything the candidates or news media don’t think they should hear.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      I disagree. There are ways to invite vigorous political discussion and to invite far more than 2 candidates into the selection process, if only we cared 1% as much about having meaningful national discussions about important issues as we did about bombing the shit out of poor people halfway around the world.

  3. Adam Herman says:

    We’re having vigorous political discussion. And the Republican voting base has been remarkably unaffected by who has the most money. Reformers are never satisfied. If the voters vote for the candidate with the cash, the process is broken. If they vote for the candidate without the cash, it’s a “circus”.

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